Bollywood comes to Daybreak
Sep 09, 2019 11:23AM
● By Amber Allen
Colors were a major part of the Bollywood Festival in Daybreak. (Amber Allen/City Journals)
By Amber Allen | [email protected]
The Bollywood Festival at Daybreak is a time to experience the Indian culture first-hand.
Traditional music, tasty Indian cuisine and dancing are just a few of the things to enjoy at the event. During the festival, dancers entertained the crowd on the Daybreak concert stage. The dancing ranged from modern hip-hop dancing to more traditional Bollywood type dancing with the performers wearing authentic Indian attire.
This year, there were from 300 to 500 people in attendance. Many festival attendees were eating tasty Indian food from Styrofoam containers while watching the dancers. Others were putting their name on the list for henna tattoos. These fun skin decorations are temporary, but they last for about two to three weeks.
Souvenirs from India
There were a number of vendors selling authentic Indian souvenirs. Misha Arts & Crafts returned for its second year. At the kiosk, festival attendees could buy authentic Indian items, things like figures to display on shelves, jewelry and toys. Company owner Svavani Rodicherla said, “We sell unique handcrafted items from India.” Misha Arts & Crafts purchases its merchandise directly from the artisans in India, giving festival attendees the chance to bring home a piece of the ancient country.
One of the Bollywood Festival’s main events is the color throw. At Daybreak, this takes place in a dirt field just behind Soda Row. Festival attendees could purchase chalk in varying colors from one of the booths. Svavani was offering tips about the chalk. She said, “Don’t look up.” It was good advice since it would hurt to have chalk dust get in your eyes.
Just before the first chalk throw, people started gathering in the dirt field. Some hovered on the outskirts — clearly uninterested in becoming covered in bright chalk — while a few of the participants started early by dipping their fingers in their chalk bags and painting lines on their faces.
The color throw is to honor Holi. There are a lot of legends about Holi. One involves the story of Prahalad and Holika. Prahalad’s father was the demon king Hiranyakashyap.
The king was angry about his son’s dedication to Vishnu and attempted to kill Prahalad. The king’s sister, Holika, had the gift of being immune to fire. She attempted to help the king kill Prahalad by taking him into the flames of a bonfire.
Since Holika used her power for something evil, the gods took her immunity away from her, turning her to ash. Vishnu protected Prahalad, and he took his father’s place on the throne. Holi celebrates good prevailing over evil, and the chalk represents the bonfire that Vishnu saved Prahalad from.
At the Daybreak Bollywood Festival, there were all types of people there ready to celebrate Holi and the festival. Jenna McQuiddy, a chalk participant, said she decided to throw chalk because she “thought it sounded fun” and because she was “interested in learning more about other cultures.”
To make sure that everyone tosses their chalk at about the same time, there is a countdown. As the announcer started the countdown, the participants prepared themselves to toss it. Once he reached zero, every person with chalk tossed it in the air by hand or used a small hand cannon. Suddenly, everyone was covered in bright pink, green, yellow and purple dust.
The Daybreak Bollywood Festival is a time for the community to come together to celebrate the Indian culture. It gives the area’s Indian residents a place to share their culture while making it fun and easy for other residents to learn about it.